Positioning of the structures plays an important role regarding the welding procedure. There are structures that can be welded in several positions, while other can be welded in one or two specific positions. Overhead welding is one of the most common positions in the field.
In order to cope with the requirement and difficulties of overhead welding position, we have found out that the Optrel VegaView 2.5 which you can check here, is the perfect choice as far as welding helmets are concerned.
During time, several methods have been used, developed and applied in order to allow welders work in every available position for better and more effective results. A welding procedure can be characterized by the position of the welding joint or the structure.
There are four basic positions used by the welders. These positions are:
- Flat position
- Vertical position
- Horizontal position
- Overhead position
These are the positions most commonly applied in the welding field, and there several methods used to take advantage of them in order to achieve successful weldings.
Like with all welding techniques, wearing the appropriate headgear is obligatory to ensure the safety of the welder. In this article, we recommend 5 of the most suitable welding helmets for overhead welding in the market, analyzing their advantages and disadvantages.
Overhead welding definition
The overhead welding position is considered the most difficult one for many reasons. The main one is the fact that the welder has to work against gravity, which is one of the natures most brutal and hard-to-defeat forces.
Overhead welding position is fairly inconvenient too. You have to look upwards and keep the welding torch or stick stable during the process, in order to achieve precise welding joints. Although it is a fact that overhead welding is the most difficult in contrast to the rest of the positions, there are methods that can help the welder achieve high quality results.
During welding with the particular position, you have to keep in mind that there are some things you have to be careful of. For instance, to protect yourself from molten metal, flames and debris while being under the welding area, acquiring and welding coverall suit like the Red Kap Men’s Twill Action Back Coverall would be the ideal solution.
How to weld properly in overhead welding
The main difficulty of the overhead welding is the fact that the molten metal has the tendency to fall due to gravity and causes drops or sages to the bead. The welder overcomes the particular difficulty by keeping their welding puddles as small as possible, preventing gravity to make them fall down.
In addition to this, filler metal is added into the joint in order to make it stick together and make the joint even stronger. This way, the bead is protected and reinforced, and the result is a more sustainable welding joint.
Welders need to control the temperature of the metal at all times, to avoid making it molten and saggy. They need to take the time and let it freeze when appropriate, so that the pieces of metal stick together before the welding arc hits them again.
Experienced welders, know that the best way to achieve successful results in overhead welding is by melting equally both sides of the welding joint, using their torch. If this method isn’t enough, additional filler metal should be added to the joint for extra reinforcement like mentioned before.
Because there is need for small puddles in order to avoid damaging the joint, only one rod must be used during the process. The welder should take control of the temperature of the weld at all times, and provide the appropriate time to the metals to freeze and stick together.
Overhead welding techniques
There is a variety of techniques that can be used during overhead welding. The general rule, is that the welding torch should be held at a 90 degrees angle in accordance to the welding area. This way you can keep the torch or stick stable, and protect yourself from flames and molten pieces of metal.
In order to achieve successful welds while in overhead position, you are going to need to use the travel angle. Travel angle means that you will have to move the electrode towards the direction of the weld, while holding it (usually) at a fifteen degree angle.
In order to make a weave bead while you are in the overhead welding position, you need to weave forwards and backwards several times, until you achieve the weld you desire. This is mainly a task for more experienced welders, although beginners can do it too after they take some time to practice.
When welding in this position, it is recommended that you move the torch a bit faster when you reach the end of the weave. This way, you use more force to the welding area, and the pieces of metal tend to stick better because you hit them with the welding arc.
What is more, by moving the torch or the stick faster, you gain better control of the filler metal inserted into the joint, while it is at a deposition state. Keep in mind that you need to have full control of the weaving and not move it too fast, to avoid overheating the metal and making the puddle bigger than the desired size.
What are the right welding helmets for overhead position?
As stated above, overhead position is probably the most difficult one in the welding field. It requires a certain level of experience and lots of practice to become fully accustomed with the appropriate techniques that will lead you to successful results.
As far as welding helmets for overhead welding are concerned, they need to meet some criteria which will allow the welder to work conveniently on his welding projects. Like all welding helmets, they must meet all the National Safety Standards to begin with.
ALSO READ: Best Welding Helmets for Aluminum Gas Welding & Soldering
Additionally, helmets for overhead position should protect the neck effectively. This is because, during the overhead welding the welders work against gravity. For this reason, they need to prevent debris and flames from hurting their neck and face.
Large viewing area is also a characteristic that appears to be extremely useful for overhead welding. Helmets with large lenses allow welders to have better control of their working environment, and make as little moves as possible. This is especially helpful for restricted areas with limited space.
The 5 best welding helmets for overhead welding
Acquiring the appropriate welding helmet is of critical importance for a welder. It is going to help him achieve better results with the particular welding method. The same goes for overhead welding, and this is why we recommend these 5 welding helmets for overhead position welding in the list below.
1 – Optrel VegaView 2.5
- The automatic welding helmet with world record...
- Shade level range 8 to 12
- Grind mode with perfect view
- Shade level 2. 5 in Light state
Regarding dealing with the difficulty levels of overhead welding, the Optrel VegaView 2.5 offers some of the best features that will allow welders to work effectively on their projects. There is no question about which welding helmet would be my go-to option for overhead welding, because this one has everything I need.
To begin with, the optical clarity of the particular model is amazing. For rough occasions such as overhead positioning, this features will make the work of the welder as convenient as it gets, offering him the ability to inspect and work precisely on the welding area.
Along with the visibility, which is one of the most important feature, the large viewing area is another great specification for overhead welding. The particular welding helmet allows the welder to work properly and move comfortably around the place, especially for those that work in tight places.
All in all, the Optrel VegaView 2.5 which you can check on Amazon, is the must-have tool for overhead welding. The sensitivity and delay controls allow you to customize and adjust the welding helmet, in order to have more effective welding procedures.
2 – Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Code Red
- 4C Lens Technology improves visibility and reduces...
- Better clarity, real color view - 1/1/1/1 Optical...
- Superior comfort with the pivot style headgear
- Increased battery life
- 3 year warranty
This one could also be the top choice of mine for overhead welding, if it weren’t for the Optrel VegaView 2.5. An excellent model by Lincoln Electric, which has some of the best features for such difficult welding position compared to the rest of the competition.
Again, the optical clarity of the Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Code Red that you can find here, is one of the most important characteristics that make it a suitable choice for overhead welding. Along with its large and convenient viewing area, they make the work of the welder very convenient, even under the most difficult circumstances.
The particular helmet model wears very comfortably on most heads no matter their size. It has great stability, which is very important when it comes to working under the welding area. This is why it guarantees protection of the welder at all times, both for the neck and the face.
The Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Code Red provides all the necessary adjustment controls so that the welder can bring it to the desired state of functionality. In my opinion, one of the best headgear for overhead welding project that will satisfy even the most demanding welder.
A comfortable helmet for overhead welding
3 – Jackson Safety BH3
- Jackson Safety BH3 Auto darkening filter lens...
- The Jackson Safety ADF has a variable shade range...
- The lightweight, high-density plastic shell helps...
- Meets ANSI/ISEA Z87.1+2010 standard for high mass...
- Comes with three headgear adjustments for the...
Moving on to the next helmet suitable for overhead position, the Jackson Safety BH3 is an amazing welding helmet model which offers angular dependence, making it pleasant to work from every position no matter how inconvenient it may appear to be.
Apart from its significantly clear visibility, this welding helmets has a light diffusion feature which makes it even more suitable for working from a wide variety of different angle, by preventing the light from blinding the welder. This fact, makes the quality of the optical clarity as high as it gets.
The Jackson Safety BH3 which you can find on Amazon for more info, is ideal for every type of welding process, although it is my recommendation that you use it for welding projects that require difficult and inconvenient positioning.
Although the helmet has all the necessary adjustment controls, it is one of the most lightweight welding helmets in comparison to the rest of the similar welding helmets of the same price range. In addition to these, it is made of high quality material, such as high-density plastic, which guarantees maximum protection for the welder.
The lightweight option
4 – Hobart 770753 Pro
- Grind Mode/Shut Off
- 1/30,000 second reaction time
- Variable shade No.8-13, light state No.3
- 9.02 square Inch viewing area
- Lightweight, durable polyamide
The Hobart 770753 Pro is considered to be one of the most lightweight choices regarding welding helmets for overhead position. It comes at a fairly affordable price, and it belongs to the Pro Series of the Hobart Company, which pretty much guarantees quality and effectiveness.
The particular helmet model has 4 arc sensors, which means that the response time is fast enough to detect unexpected arc flashes. It is also a great option for out-of-position welding, due to the fast response of the auto darkening filter.
As far as its weight is concerned, it is very light and easy to war on the head. In my opinion, it wears very comfortably and it is especially fit for long-hour welding projects due to its design and stability. For more information about the Hobart 770753 Pro, visit Amazon here.
A nice helmet for overhead welding
5 – Weldcote Metals Ultraview Plus
- Uses high quality LCD and multilayer optical...
- Helmet shell made of high impact resistant special...
- 3 memory settings for easy retrieval of...
- Power supply by solar charge AND CR2450 battery to...
- 3 Year Warranty
The particular welding helmet provides almost 50% larger viewing area than the majority of the welding helmets in the same price range. Taking this statement from the manufacturer as a fact, it is a perfect welding helmet for overhead position, as it allows the welder to work precisely on his projects.
The Weldcote Metals Ultraview Plus which you can find here, offer digital adjustments for light sensitivity and delay, which are very easy to read. This is especially convenient for the welder that work under rough circumstances, as he doesn’t have to spend too much time adjusting the controls of the helmet, and can focus more on the welding project.
The helmet has 4 arc sensors for faster response time, and a shade range of 9 to 13. The battery life of the particular welding helmet is big enough for long welding projects, because it utilizes both solar and battery power sources.
Overhead welding is one of the most difficult positions in the welding field. Welders have to practice a lot and acquire the appropriate knowledge and experience in order to take on challenging projects, which takes a fair amount of time.
In this article, we have researched, found and reviewed 5 of the most suitable welding helmets for overhead welding. The particular models are recommended both to beginners and professional, although you should test them in order to find out which ones suits you best.
For tips on overhead welding, watch the video below: